With many discussions and uncertainties surrounding it, the coronavirus pandemic blindsided the whole world. All international organizations agree that "the future will always surprise us." This statement is both unsettling and perhaps even threatening for countries; however, it encompasses several opportunities as well.
According to international institutions, primarily the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), there are three different categories regarding future uncertainties.
In terms of the pandemic's effects and the uncertainty it has caused, the two issues in the low-risk category, which is also referred to as the "green category," are "data breach" and "aging." These two issues can both be managed by countries taking precautions and thus keeping their impacts to a minimum.
The uncertainties in the medium-risk group, which is also referred to as the "yellow category," are listed as "economic crises" and "natural disasters."
In this risk group, no one is taking or is able to take sufficient precautions to prevent or eliminate the effects quickly. In other words, the problems are likely to continue for years.
Power and internet outages are two risks whose level of uncertainty is more complex, comprehensive and higher. Thus, they are between the yellow and red categories. However, their effects are hoped to be more manageable.
Nevertheless, the effects of a possible wide-ranging electricity and/or internet outage in a country, region, continent or the whole world could be larger than expected.
Cyberwarfare, pandemic, artificial intelligence (AI) and climate change are high-risk perception issues that fall in the red category.
AI is included in this category due to its connection to cyberwarfare, which is becoming a more and more prominent method of attack among countries and global power centers.
The issue takes even more importance as cyberwarfare and AI capabilities are used for damaging the global reputation of countries. Hacker groups can even affiliate a country with a case it does not have any links to or even know about through internet platforms and global social media networks.
In this challenging period when the global economic-political system is being restructured, global uncertainties, encapsulated by the motto "the future will always surprise us," also require countries to pass a global reputation test. This depends on countries' abilities and capabilities to withstand, manage and repel such global uncertainties.
For this reason, the new political, economic and commercial areas of competition between countries also lead operations against the global reputation of countries.
This is because showing the opponent as weak in the face of global uncertainties or creating an impression that your opponent is vulnerable to such uncertainties means that you can eliminate your opponent easily.
In this context, one of the most popular topics in the coming period will be "staying alert" against these uncertainties.